Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday

My morning started out like most Sunday mornings around here. Mercy Me blaring from my computer, Ben playing in his Bumbo while I take a quick shower, Roxy sitting on the window sill making her "I'd love to come inside and snuggle" face. I was really excited about trying out this new church. Ben and I loaded up and started our trek with plenty of time to spare. As I rounded the corner into what I thought was the parking lot, Mr. Yellow Vest motioned me to turn around and use the other entrance. I drove for the next fifteen minutes and never found the other entrance. That was it. I pulled in a nearby parking lot and let my emotions take over. I kept thinking "Micah would know what to do."
Once I pulled myself together, I Googled "church" on my handy-dandy smart phone.
Then, I looked in the mirror. Eesh. "I can't go to church looking like this."
My next thought?
"Why not? If I can't go to church when I'm hurting, when can I go?" That's what a church body is all about.
 So... I went.  And it rocked.

baylife.org

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Change

I love the holidays. Love. I love when the weather in Florida starts to cool off just enough to make it comfortable to eat outside or open the windows. I love pulling out the Christmas decorations and letting those pine scented candles burn all day. I love curling up with hot chocolate and convincing myself sugar cookies have no calories.
Changes make the world go round. Literally. It's that one thing I love and hate about life. Change is important. Good? Sure. Bad? Sometimes. Ugly? Every so often. Changes are what fuel our minds. It's the "Oo, look - fall leaves!," "Hey, a full moon!," or "Let's plan a vacation!" mentality that keeps us going. We long for things to look forward to.
There is so much I'm looking forward to this year. Micah is coming home, Benjamin will be able to enjoy the festivities and we're close enough for family to come see us instead of the other way around. Last year was tough. Micah was in the sandbox, I was six months pregnant and we couldn't even talk to each other on Christmas day. Not to mention plowing through our anniversary and New Years like they didn't exist. After flying back to Texas after spending those few weeks in Florida, my friends who picked me up from the airport jokingly asked me if I was happy to be back. I un-jokingly replied a "Heck yes I am" and prayed we would never have to go through that again.
For those of you who have asked, we have no idea what's happening after Christmas in regards to... life. I would love to tell you that Micah got a well paying job that is going to allow us to stay in the area and live happily ever after, but that's just not our reality right now. We do have some options (which, with the economy the way it is right now, is unheard of) but everything is very much up in la-la land.
Right now, we are both trying to be all here. We're taking things one day (sometimes one moment) at a time and thanking God for the guts.

Be on the lookout. More of these pictures to come soon! 
Kim Pace of Pacey Photography is an absolute gem! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Milestones

I did a stupid thing. Micah's been home for the past 6 (ish) weeks. While it's been completely wonderful, I have found myself thinking far too much, "Dang it; he's gotta go back." Long story short, I've caught myself day-nightmareing about what life is going to be like this time around and I think that caused me to miss out on what could've been really great moments. We had a lot of time to catch up on our many road trips. After venting about not wanting to "settle in" where I am right now because we may not be here as long as we'd like, Micah's level headedness hit me like a Mack truck. "Who cares. Be all here regardless of where you are. You never know what's gonna happen." Yep; it was a "What's up, God" moment for me for sure. Be all here. What a concept.
I find myself doing that with Ben. There are so many things I worry about with him entirely too often. What if he has health issues later? What if he doesn't always develop as well as he is right now? What about school? Sheesh. Ben is an awesome kid. Right now, he's still the picture of perfection. At his four month appointment, his pediatrician looked me in the eye and said, "If it wasn't for his cute features you couldn't convince me he had Down Syndrome." He's hit every milestone he's supposed to and then some. Awesome. So, who cares about what happens later. I want to be all here. "You never know what's gonna happen."
You know what? I was all here today. I'll be all here tomorrow and the next day. And, by golly, I'll be all here after Saturday, too. Why? 'Cause it's not worth the struggle to not be.
Happy Today to you. Be all here with me.      

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dearest

I wrote this when I was pregnant with Ben. I found it during the move and wanted to share. 
Written 10.24.10

My dearest Benjamin,
It's hard to believe it's been seventeen weeks since we found out about you. I wanted to tell you about the wild ride your daddy and I have been on since March of this year. (By the way, you're going to love your daddy! I can't wait for you to meet him!)
About this time last year, your dad applied for a job with a new company. Since he didn't get it that time he decided to reapply in March. He was accepted then which meant he had to report to Maryland for training. Talk about a whirlwind! Within a matter of a few weeks, we moved to a new apartment and he was off. While your dad was in training, I was finishing up college. It felt so good to graduate in May! During training, I was able to visit your dad in Maryland and then we met up for a "second honeymoon" in Las Vegas. (You're a great souvenir!)
It was an emotional moment for me when I found out about you. I had decided to take a pregnancy test on a whim one day and, looking back, it was totally a God thing. I didn't want to tell your dad over the phone. We had planned on meeting in Florida to visit your grandma, grandpa and the rest of your family before he left for Afghanistan. I found out about you on a Sunday and we were going to see each other on Thursday. I wanted to tell him then.
My plan changed with a text message. I was sitting in my classroom on Tuesday morning when your dad texted me. My heart dropped when he said he was about to get a smallpox vaccine and he wasn't supposed to be around pregnant women or children under the age of one for a whole month. He was leaving for Afghanistan in ten days. I panicked. I ran down the hall and waited for him to call me. It was too late then. He had just gotten the shot. I went straight to my doctor to see what we were supposed to do. He said as long as we were careful around each other we would be okay. Those ten days before he deployed weren't quite what we thought they would be, but we made it.
Don't get me wrong, Ben. We were excited about you... just not that vaccine.
Anyway, we just found out that you're a Benjamin. Some of your aunts went with me to find out if you were a boy or a girl and we are all very excited to see your airplane room come together. I hope you like airplanes 'cause your daddy sure does. Benjamin Popejoy Webb. We'll tell you all about that middle name someday. Your dad has it, too. Your great grandpa is a special guy and he loves you already. I really hope he gets to see you.
You are so loved, little dude! You have a mountain of people awaiting your special arrival! Happy Seventeen Weeks!
Love, Your Mommy

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Remember

Back, left corner. Ninth grade. Mr. Heers' civics class. When Miss Ives walked in carrying a radio we all smiled because we thought it was a joke. We sat there listening to the devastation in the dj's voice. Had we heard that correctly? An airplane? The World Trade Center? We were all moved to a different classroom to watch the news. The entire population of my Christian school huddled around the three strategically placed television sets. People were placed on phone duty answering calls of concerned parents.
The devastation continued as a universal gasp spread through the classroom. We watched as the second plane crashed through the glass panes. Parents came and we all left to continue to watch from our homes. The days and weeks ahead were like a bad movie gone worse. Words like "terrorist," "Al Qaeda," and "Bin Laden" smashed their way into our daily vocabulary. War was on the horizon.
In a few days we will "celebrate" the ten year anniversary of this moment in history. We'll huddle around our televisions, radios and favorite websites. We'll reminisce about exactly where we were, what we were doing and how the world reacted. We'll remember everything.
I don't think I could even begin to describe how my view of this war has changed over the past year. Having a loved one experiencing Operation Enduring Freedom first hand changes things. Before this year, the war was just something we heard about on the news. We'd notice a headline about lives that had been lost "over there" and we'd briefly talk about the few people we knew who were on the front lines.
Micah has always had a patriotic heart. Growing up, his dream was to join the Air Force. Scoliosis kept him out. I used to say that to people and end my sentence with a "Thank God" chuckle. My, oh my, how thanking God changes things. This job opportunity has changed our lives. Completely; totally; unmistakably.
What have I learned? Top 8:
1. We are fighting a war on terror in a part of the world where everyone is Muslim. This is not a religious war. We are not at war with the Muslims. The Islamic religion accounts for almost all of the Middle East. We are at war with groups of terrorists. Are the members of these groups Muslims? Probably. But, that doesn't mean the Muslims are who we're "after."
2. Planning for the future needs to take precedence sometimes.
3. Family is important. More important than anything. And, family isn't always blood related.
4. Trusting God takes guts.
5. Change is good. Hard, but good.
6. "Good-bye" never gets easier.
7. God is good. All the time.
8. Writing is my therapy.
I could go on and on about my feelings about 9.11 and the war but, frankly, the what if's are still overwhelming. Rest assured though, my God is still good, life is still great and "normal" is still a matter of opinion.
Tell me how you feel about all this. Where were you on 9.11.01?  Remember?